Employers of domiciliary care workers - what you need to know

If you employ domiciliary care workers, you will be aware they need to register with us. To help you support them through the process, we have put together answers to some of your questions.

Who are domiciliary care workers?

Domiciliary care workers are people employed by a domiciliary support service to provide care and support. Domiciliary support services are registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).

Their job title might not be ‘domiciliary care worker’, but if they provide care and support to people in their own homes and their work place is registered with the CIW they will need to register.

When will they need to register?

  • The Register is now open for domiciliary care workers
  • Workers who haven’t registered by April 2020 won’t be able to carry on working in Wales
  • After April 2020, anyone who starts working as a domiciliary care worker will be required to register within six months of their start date.

How long can a domiciliary care worker practise before they are registered?

Once it becomes mandatory, a domiciliary care worker will need to register within six months of starting their post.

What is registration?

We keep a register of people who have shown they are suitable to work in social care in Wales by:

What are the benefits of registration?

People can stay at home, safely, and workers get  support and recognition. These are just some of the benefits listed by Joy, HR Manager Emma, Support Worker Carwen and Domiciliary Care Manager Claire. 

Other benefits include:

Building trust and confidence
  • people can rely on registered social care workers 
  • people have confidence knowing you follow the Code
Valuing social care workers
  • show you have the skills and knowledge to be a good  domiciliary care worker
  • you can show you're trained and take responsibility for developing knowledge and skills
  • employers can provide the support and development you need
  • knowing more about home care workers will help us plan ways to support you.
Making sure people are safe
  • protect people’s rights and make sure they are listened to
  • support people to be independent and protect themselves
  • if a worker is not fit to practise they can be removed from the Register and unable to practice in Wales. 

Home care workers have been crucial to Rita to help care for her husband Mel. She says joining the Register will raise workers status, which they deserve. She also says it is very important they are regulated, because you don’t always know who is going to come into your house. 

To hear more on the benefits of registration from other workers, individuals and carers, watch more video case studies.

Will they need to pay a fee?

  • Yes a fee must be paid every year. The registration fee is £15. This will increase to £20 in 2019/20, £25 in 2020/21 and £30 in 2021/22.

What qualifications will they need?

Domiciliary care workers can register if they have one of the required qualifications.

If they do not have one of these qualifications they can register by either:

  • completing the Level 2 Award for Social Care Induction (Wales), or  
  • if they have worked as a domiciliary care worker for more than three years their current manager can confirm their competence and suitability to be registered. 

These routes are only available up to April 2020.

Who is responsible for applying to register?

Applying to register is the responsibility of the worker. Employers have a duty to support them.

What responsibilities do employers have?

You will need to make sure workers are fit to practise. You will be asked to endorse applications and verify the identity of the worker applying.

More information on employer responsibilities

Employers need to make sure workers can do a good job, which is set out in section 7 of the Code.    

This means making sure they:

  • have the right qualifications or can work towards getting them
  • have the chance to learn and develop in their work in a variety of ways
  • know about the Code and how it applies to them.

If a worker can’t meet these requirements, we could refuse their registration.

As an employer, the Code also states that you must:

  • keep in touch with workers and give them guidance and support
  • understand how the service is working and address unsatisfactory performance or misconduct by workers, which could include making referrals to us. 

Employers must also be aware of their responsibilities under the Code of Practice for Social Care Employers.

What do workers need to know about registering?

  • all applications to register are made online. Domiciliary care workers can apply for registration from 16 April.
  • workers need to create an SCWonline account to apply to register. As their employer, you can endorse their application form your own SCWonline account.
  • workers will need to pay a fee every year. 
  • we give information about how to register on our registration pages

Everyone who is registered needs to renew their registration every three years. To do this, they will need to apply to renew through SCWonline and give evidence of post-registration training and learning (PRTL). 

What ongoing learning and development will they need?

You will need to make sure your workforce have the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to deliver the service’s statement of purpose. These will need to be recorded so workers can give evidence of their post-registration training and learning also known as PRTL.  

The aim of doing PRTL is to help workers in their work, so they can provide a good service to the people they support and keep up-to-date with things that change.

There are lots of ways to show PRTL. It can be by:

  • completing qualifications or training
  • shadowing someone else and learning from how they work
  • attending a workshop
  • taking on new responsibilities.  

We will look at what we can do to support workers to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. This might be to help keep practise up-to-date, to develop areas of knowledge such as childcare or dementia, or it could be to help workers move into management.

We ask for proof that at least 90 hours of training and learning has been completed over the three years since someone last registered.

How will ongoing learning and development be funded?

Employers have a responsibility to make sure workers have the knowledge and skills for their role. These are not new responsibilities, but training and learning will need to be recorded so workers have evidence of their post-registration training and learning (PRTL).  

We operate the Social Care Workforce Development Partnership (SCWDP) grant, which can support some costs of workforce development. We will work with domiciliary care organisations and regional workforce lead officers to work out the best way to use this funding.

What if they don’t follow the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care?

If you are concerned about the practice of a worker, you can contact us. Under the Code, it is your duty to act on your concerns.

We have a fitness to practise team which looks at whether people have the knowledge, skills and character needed to be a good social care worker. 

The fitness to practise team will only look into a worker’s practice when a concern has been raised. They will consider whether a worker’s fitness to practise is impaired (negatively affected). They will look at evidence from a number of people including the worker to decide whether the worker has the character, knowledge and skills to be safe and effective. If a worker is not fit to practise they can be removed from the Register and won't be able to practice in Wales. 

More information on fitness to practise

Has an impact assessment on the registration of the workforce been undertaken?

The Welsh Government have completed an Equality Impact Assessment on the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care Wales Act 2016 – Workforce regulations. 

We will complete an Equality Impact Assessment for our consultation on the qualification levels and fees for registration.

What support is available to register?

There is plenty of support available to help with registration.

We have resources including case studies, how-to videos and apps, with more being developed. See our collection of resources for domiciliary care workers and our collection of resources for domiciliary care employers.

You have a duty to support your staff under the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care Employers (Employers' Code)

There is also practice guidance to support them in their day-to-day work as a registered domiciliary care worker. 

To help get your staff registered as soon as possible, this year we are offering to hold registration workshops at your workplace. Please contact our registration team to discuss.

I want to ask a question

If you have a question about domiciliary care worker registration contact us.

Last updated: 11 July 2018